A forecast team from Colorado State University has predicted a low level of activity in the Atlantic basin this hurricane season.
Phil Klotzbach and William Gray of the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project say there will be an average of 7 named storms, with three of those storms developing into hurricanes in the Atlantic this season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. The historical seasonal average is 12 tropical storms, with 6.5 of them becoming hurricanes.
“It appears quite likely that an El Niño of at least moderate strength will develop this summer and fall,” Klotzbach said in the report. “The tropical and subtropical Atlantic are also quite cool at present.”
The team predicts:
- A 28 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline in 2015 (the long-term average probability is 52 percent).
- A 15 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula (the long-term average is 31 percent).
- A 15 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville (the long-term average is 30 percent).
The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season saw six storms becoming hurricanes, with two of them reaching major hurricane status.
Although a calm season is predicted overall, the team cautioned coastal residents to take the proper precautions. "It takes only one landfall event near you to make this an active season," they said.
Clay Electric Cooperative offers lots of information to help its members prepare for the possibility a hurricane may strike North Florida, including a Hurricane Preparedness Guide. Copies of the 2015 Preparedness Guide will be available online and at the cooperative’s six district offices in June. The guide contains a hurricane checklist, information on generator safety, helpful websites and a hurricane tracking map to help members stay safe during storm season.